Expanding Heat – New England Chill – Louisiana Flood Risk – Tropical Storm Potential in 9 Days?
4 PM Thursday. Heat continues to expand northward across the Plains, highs approaching 90F Friday afternoon as far north as South Dakota and western Minnesota. Meanwhile New England remains cool, under the influence of a “backdoor cold front”, sizzling 100-degree heat from Las Vegas to Phoenix. Map: HAMweather.
Gulf Coast Soakers. NOAA’s models (consistently) print out excessive amounts of rain for much of the Lower Mississippi Valley, as much as 6-8″ rain for Louisiana over the next 7 days. 2-5″ rains are possible from Montana, the Dakotas and Minnesota into portions of the Ohio Valley by Wednesday of next week.
Risk of “Arthur”? It’s still very early, and our confidence level is low. This may just be noise, but a couple of consecutive GFS model runs show a possible tropical depression or tropical storm pushing out of the Gulf of Mexico into Florida by Saturday, June 7. In fact a series of storms may soak Florida and much of the Southeast, increasing the potential for flash flooding between June 5-13. We’ll have to keep an eye on this and see if there is model continuity and agreement on this potential solution. For now it’s just a small risk, but it pays to be perpetually paranoid. Source: WSI.
Tornado Damages Trailers at North Dakota man camp. At least 15 trailers associated with fracking in western North Dakota were severely damaged by a tornado late Monday. Details from The Washington Post. Fargo’s Inforum.com has video of the actual tornado and more details on injuries, at least one critical.
Advances in Technology, Social Media Changing How Quickly People See Tornado Devastation. This is the case with all outbreaks of extreme weather. The authors point our (correctly in my humble opinion) that social media, in addition to local legacy TV/radio, can provide valuable confirmation that a storm is actually causing damage – in real time – increasing the odds that people will do the right thing and seek shelter. Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to take your laptop, tablet or smartphone down to the basement. Here’s a clip from tribtown.com: “Experts say that advances in technology, particularly social media, are changing how people watch for severe weather and how quickly images of the damage can be shared. John Robinson, the warning coordinator for the National Weather Service’s Little Rock office, said Facebook, Twitter and other social media as well as smart-phone apps are helping people learn about storm warnings faster...”
Storm Chasing From Home. Full disclosure: Kory Hartman now works with me at Media Logic Group, but he continues to run Severe Studios, which aggregates and curates storm chasing videos from around the nation – he’s done a remarkable job growing his business and I’m lucky to have him on my team. Here’s a clip from an article at The Wright County Journal Press: “For a South Dakota radio announcer, storm chasing was a hobby until one day a tornado being videotaped in western Iowa suddenly veered in the direction of the storm chasers’ vehicle and spun it sideways as the occupants yelled and screamed in terror. That incident changed everything. Kory Hartman, who now lives in Monticello, said the hobby suddenly became a business. He is now the CEO of Severe Studios and coordinates a network of storm chasers. The western Iowa tornado had killed four boys at the Little Sioux Scout Ranch, and the news about the tragedy was reported across the nation. You can still find the New York Times story on the Internet. Hartman said it was heartbreaking to go see the Scout Ranch. He remembers a kid’s shoe hanging from a tree…” (Image credit: The Drummer).
National Weather Service Kinda, Sorta Explains Its Major Data Outage. Meteorologist Andrew Freedman has the story at Mashable; here’s a clip: “…The memo says the data disruption was triggered by an upgrade to the weather data dissemination system itself, specifically a modification to a network firewall. The firewall was supposed to continue to allow data to pass through it, but “within minutes, engineers noticed that data were not traversing the firewall.” The memo claims all warnings did reach the public despite the loss of the main automated delivery system, which is a questionable claim considering that many storm chasers, television meteorologists, online news sites and others in the weather community reported disruptions in crucial radar data and severe weather warnings on Thursday…”
File photo credit above: “The Funny River Fire continues to burn in Kasilof, Alaska on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. Firefighters estimate that more than 20,000 acres have been burned in the blaze.” (AP Photo/Peninsula Clarion, Rashah McChesney).
A big fire produces strong upward moving air currents that carry water vapor and ash upward. The water vapor can condense on the ash forming cloud drops. The vigorous upward motions produce these pyrocumulus clouds that look similar to thunderstorm clouds, which also form due to strong upward moving air.
Welcome to the WeatherNation blog. Every day I sift through hundreds of stories, maps, graphics and meteorological web sites, trying to capture some of the most interesting weather nuggets, the stories behind the forecast. I’ll link to stories and share some of the web sites I use. I’m still passionate about the weather, have been ever since Tropical Storm Agnes flooded my home in Lancaster, PA in 1972. I’ve started 5 weather-related companies. “EarthWatch” created the world’s first 3-D weather graphics for TV stations – Steven Spielberg used our software in “Jurassic Park” and “Twister”. My last company, “Digital Cyclone”, personalized weather for cell phones. “My-Cast” was launched in 2001 and is still going strong on iPhone, Android and Blackberry. I sold DCI to Garmin in 2007 so I could focus on my latest venture: WeatherNation. I also write a daily weather column for The Star Tribune startribune.